Sir Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with dementia, it has been reported.
The Telegraph said that the 83-year-old's wife, Lady Norma, was happy for the Manchester United and England great's condition to be reported.
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The British newspaper said Lady Norma had given the breaking of the news her "blessing", with the announcement coming two days after his club and country teammate Nobby Stiles died after his own battle with the illness.
In July, Sir Bobby's brother Jack also died, himself having previously being diagnosed with dementia.
Sir Bobby is regarded as one of England's best ever, if not the best, footballers.
A 1966 World Cup winner, he held England's goalscoring record of 49 for close to 50 years until it was broken by Wayne Rooney.
Rooney also took Charlton's Manchester United record when he passed the 249 goals he scored for his beloved Red Devils.
"Yet another hero of our 1966 World Cup winning team has been diagnosed with dementia. Perhaps the greatest of them all, @SirBobby. This is both very sad and deeply concerning, " said Gary Lineker, himself a scorer of 48 England goals, on Twitter.
Five of England’s 1966 World Cup winners have now been diagnosed with dementia. Study last year found former footballers 3.5 times more likely to suffer from dementia, the cruelest of diseases. Very stark indeed. https://t.co/icFajmG9D6
— Martha Kelner (@marthakelner) November 1, 2020
Much support for Sir Bobby Charlton's family on hearing this news. From seeing it at first hand with my dad, the cruelty of the disease is awful for all, but there's something especially cruel in thinking how golden his memories would have been. pic.twitter.com/oIpdbcQ59e
— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) November 1, 2020
What a sad, sad day for the UK
and then Bobby Charlton's dementia
In our minds, both irreplaceable
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) November 1, 2020
Sir Bobby's 249 Manchester United goals came across 758 games for the club, with his England goals coming in 106 appearances.
A survivor of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, he helped the rebuilding of Manchester United in the wake of the tragedy and scored two goals as they beat Benfica to win the European Cup in 1968.
Football icon's amazing virus crisis support
Football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has leant his weight to a campaign promoting respect for distancing rules and wearing a mask, telling fans not to "challenge the virus" in a video released Thursday by the Lombardy region.
The former Sweden striker, who plays for AC Milan, tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks ago but has now recovered and is back playing in Serie A where he is the top goalscorer.
"The virus challenged me and I defeated it," he says in Italian.
"But you are not Zlatan. Do not challenge the virus.
“Use your head, respect the rules. Social distancing and masks, always. We will win."
The video, filmed on a terrace overlooking Milan, closes with Ibrahimovic donning a mask.
Lombardy president Attilio Fontana said he had the idea to enlist Ibrahimovic on the night of the derby between the two Milan clubs when the 39-year-old scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Inter.
Like its European neighbours, Italy, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, has suffered a sharp increase in cases in recent weeks.
The country has recorded nearly 38,000 deaths with more than 550,000 cases since the end of February.
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